Young Sunderland stars start Hartlepool United loans

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LOAN signings Scott Harrison and Connor Oliver will today join up with their new Hartlepool United team-mates for the first time, writes RICHARD MENNEAR.

The Sunderland pair signed on Thursday afternoon, on loan until the end of the season, but they were not in the squad for Saturday’s match at home to Cheltenham Town.

Harrison and Oliver stayed with Sunderland U21s for Friday’s defeat at Manchester City.

Boss Colin Cooper explained: “The agreement is they will come and if they are not playing for my first team then they will do a bit of training at Sunderland and maybe play for the U21s with Kevin Ball.

“The agreement initially was we’d get the paperwork done and they’d play for Sunderland’s U21s at Manchester City on Friday and then we’d get them this week in the build-up to Portsmouth and see how things go.”

Cooper added: “I’d said to Sunderland that because Sam (Collins) and Christian (Burgess) were going to be fine and Simon (Walton)’s suspension was only one game, then I wouldn’t bring Scott and Connor in just to sit on the bench.

“It wouldn’t have been fair on them and, with all due respect, where Connor and Scott play wouldn’t have affected things on Saturday as I still thought we had more than enough to win the game.

“They will join us and we will have a week’s build-up to Portsmouth and will strengthen us a wee bit. I am looking forward to getting them in. I have seen them both play a few times this season – they both have good technical ability, are physical and worthy to be put in the team at any point between now and the end of the season and I have no qualms they would both acquit themselves very well.”

H Peterborough lifted the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Wembley yesterday, beating Chesterfield 3-1 in front of a 35,663 crowd.